Election 2018: A Message from Cassy O’Connor, Greens Leader

Good governments work for the people, not for big business. They are open, transparent and accountable.

Good governments reinvest our taxes back into public good and work hard to ease disadvantage and eliminate inequality. The Greens understand the need to prioritise social capital and to think long term.

Our policy platform for this election invests in secure, affordable housing for all Tasmanians, a quality education for our children, well-funded child safety and public health services, all supported by a strong community sector.

Of course, as Greens we also prioritise environmental protection and climate action to foster resilience and self sufficiency across Tasmania.

These are the pillars on which to build an inclusive, healthy and resilient Tasmania.

We know both the urgent problems so many Tasmanians face today, and the structural challenges our beautiful island state must confront this century.

The housing crisis is affecting thousands of Tasmanians right now is the result of underinvestment in social housing, exacerbated by soaring AirBnB takeup and others sucking properties out of the rental market. It has never been more important to enshrine the right to a liveable, secure and affordable place to live in Tasmania.

In the immediate term, the Greens will prioritise Tasmanian families by regulating the short stay market. We will make leases and rent conditions fair, by implementing the ACT model of pegging rent increases to CPI and the option of indefinite leases for renters. We will also invest $30 million to fund new accommodation for those who find themselves in crisis, and properly fund those already doing great work in the sector, such as Bethlehem House. More broadly, we will return funding to Housing Tasmania and stop the Liberals’ sell-off of desperately needed public housing stock.

We also know that bills are rising faster than wages, and that Tasmanians spend more on heating their houses than any other state. To combat rising prices, we will reinstate the highly successful free energy efficiency upgrades for low income households, small businesses and community organisations that ran from 2010-2014.

The Greens’ education policy is designed to give young Tasmanians the best start in life. Over four years we will fund 250 extra teachers and 200 teacher assistants, increase school psychologists, speech therapists and social workers, and invest in trauma-informed care.

To break down young people’s barriers to higher education, we will rebuild TasTAFE as a Centre for Excellence, and redirect 70% of state government training dollars through its doors. And we will provide free metro travel for all TAFE and uni students.

It’s not just students who need better public transport options. Our capital is suffering serious growing pains. The Greens’ planning policy is about strategic planning that protects public amenity and gives people a say . We are also committed to a Capital City Master Plan, with integrated light rail, ferry and bus options and sensible options for expansion.

Of course, the Greens remain determined to rid communities of poker machines. Getting pokies out of pubs and clubs, putting hundreds of millions back into the community and small business. Winding pokies back to the casino will alleviate poverty, homelessness, family violence, mental suffering and other stresses that have put so much strain on vital public services.

The Greens also understand that the least affluent among us will be hit first and hit hardest by a changing climate. Our comprehensive Climate Plan delivers transport and infrastructure for a generation, clean energy, energy efficient housing and planning reform to make sure Tasmania is ready for the future.

Cassy O’Connor MP 
Greens Leader